Import and Export in/from Luxembourg

Import and Export in/from Luxembourg

Updated on Monday 02nd March 2020

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imports/exports_in_luxembourg.jpgLuxembourg, the "Green Heart of Europe" as it is referred to, is amongst the wealthiest countries in the world. The industries that bring Luxembourg its economic success are: banking (the largest sector in Luxembourg), steel, telecommunications, agriculture and tourism. Luxembourg’s economy is also largely based on export.

Traditionally, Luxembourg imports most of the consumer goods and exports industrial products.
Below, our lawyers in Luxembourg present the main procedures related to importing and exporting goods into, respectively out of the Grand Duchy. You can rely on us if you want to start a trading business in Luxembourg.

Exports in Luxembourg 

The main export commodities in Luxembourg are: steel products, machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, diamonds, chemicals, other products. Luxembourg’s main export partners are: Germany, France and Belgium.

The main exported goods and their destination country can be summarised as follows:
  • ores and metals exported in: Germany, France and Belgium (country classification according to the value of the exports);
  • office, telecom and electrical equipment exported in the United Kingdom;
  • basic food and food products exported in Germany;
  • chemicals exported in Germany;
  • ores and metals exported in the Netherlands.

Today, other goods exported by Luxembourg are: beverage and tobacco, textiles, road vehicles and transport equipment and pharmaceuticals.

It is expected that the future exports of Luxembourg will mainly be ores and metals, other manufactured products and office and telecom equipment. These top export products will represent more than 50% of the total exported goods. Imports and exports in Luxembourg must be completed by Luxembourg companies with EORI numbers.
If you need information on the export procedures available in the Grand Duchy, feel free to get in touch with our law firm in Luxembourg.

Imports in Luxembourg

The main imported goods in Luxembourg are fuels, foodstuffs, ores and metal, different consumer goods. Luxembourg mainly imports from the European Union - Belgium, Germany, France, the Netherlands, but also China, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The main imported goods come from:
  • fuels from Belgium;
  • office, telecom and electrical equipment from China;
  • ores and metals from Germany;
  • other manufactures and other products from Germany;
  • road vehicles and transport equipment from Belgium and Germany.
It is expected that in the future Luxembourg will mainly import fuels from Belgium, office, telecom and electrical equipment from China and ores and metals from Germany.
Our lawyers in Luxembourg can explain the import procedures a local or foreign business needs to comply with in this country.

How to start a trading company in Luxembourg

Import and exports in Luxembourg can be completed by natural persons and legal entities, no matter if they are local or foreign. Even if natural persons can engage in trading activities, it is best to operate such undertakings through a legal structure governed by the Company Law. From a legal point of view, the limited liability company is the most suitable business form when conducting import and export activities in Luxembourg.
In order to register a business for importing and exporting in/from Luxembourg, the following steps need to be completed:
  1. the chosen legal entity must be registered with the Companies Registrar in accordance with the Company Act;
  2. the company must register for taxation and VAT purposes in order to be able to issue invoices;
  3. the company must also register with the Luxembourg Customs Authorities and obtain the import/export permits;
  4. the business must also obtain EORI numbers for completing trading activities within the European Union.
Foreign companies can also set up operations in the trading sector through branches and subsidiaries in Luxembourg.
The creation of a trading company in the Grand Duchy can be overseen by our Luxembourg lawyers.

Import/export procedures in Luxembourg

When completing trading activities in Luxembourg the procedures are similar in terms of imports and exports. When importing or exporting goods from the EU member states, customs declarations must be filed with the Customs and Excise Administration in Luxembourg. The same procedures are available when exporting goods to another EU member state.
Trading activities with EU-originating goods are subject to simplified customs operations in Luxembourg and must not be declared with Customs. These are deemed as intra-Community goods and fall under the intra-Community VAT and Intrastat regulations and declarations. However, these also require companies to obtain EORI numbers in Luxembourg. Foreign companies seeking to establish a presence in Luxembourg in order to engage in import-export undertakings can apply for EORI numbers with the Luxembourg Customs Authorities.
With respect to importing goods from non-EU countries, the procedures are more stringent. Luxembourg companies engaging in such activities must be presented with the Customs immediately and must be accompanied by various documents. Also, customs declarations need to be issued and, in some cases, these can take a little longer to be obtained. In such situations, the goods can be stored temporarily in warehousing facilities provided by the Luxembourg Customs and Excise Office.
It is important to note that there are various types of goods that can be imported and exported into/ from Luxembourg and some of these are subject to additional requirements as they enter special categories.
Our Luxembourg law firm can help foreign companies seeking to obtain EORI numbers for completing trading activities within the European Union.

Import/export documentation in Luxembourg

As mentioned above, companies in Luxembourg must comply with various requirements when importing/exporting goods into/from the Grand Duchy. Among these, the following documents must be filed with the Customs and Excise Office:
  • an import/export declaration;
  • the certificate of origin of the goods;
  • invoices and other documents attached to the goods;
  • the company’s EORI number;
  • the Single Administrative Declaration (SAD) in case of intra-Community imports and export;
  • the VAT declaration;
  • a special authorization if the goods are categorized as special goods.
If you want to open a trading company in Luxembourg, you can rely on our local lawyers.

Trading statistics in Luxembourg

  • in November 2019, Luxembourg’s exports had reached 1,055 million euros;
  • in December 2019, the report issued by STATEC indicated Luxembourg’s exports were worth 953,700 euros;
  • the highest value of exports in Luxembourg was registered in April 2019 when they were valued at 1,2 million euros;
  • in terms of imports, their last registered value was 1,672 euros at the end of November 2019.
If your company deals with exports and imports from/in Luxembourg or if you want to open a company in Luxembourg that deals with foreign trade, contact our lawyers in Luxembourg for more information regarding international trade.